With a top-notch line-up, reasonably priced tickets and a great atmosphere, Poland’s Open’er is one of the most epic festivals on the European circuit
1: It boasts a stellar cast of bands
The line up is heaving with big names and must-sees including (deep breath!) Travis Scott, The Strokes (with frontman Julian Casablancas racking up the overtime by playing the festival with his second band, The Voidz), The Smashing Pumpkins, The 1975, Lana Del Rey, Vampire Weekend, Idles, Interpol, Jorja Smith, Marina, Robyn, Rosalía, Swedish House Mafia, G-Eazy, Perry Farrell’s Kind Heaven Orchestra, Greta Van Fleet, Kamasi Washington, Octavian, Rudimental among many, many others. Plus, to mitigate FOMO, sets are timed to avoid infuriating clashes.
2: It’s reasonably priced
Unlike a lot of festivals where you practically have to flog your kidney on Craigslist to afford a ticket, Open’er is reasonably priced. Passes for all four days are a steal at £124 (£145 with camping), or you can purchase tickets for two days for £87. If you want to head over for a single day, it will only set you back £57.
3: You can bop to the legend that is Kylie – without getting muddy
At Glastonbury, the teatime heritage act slot tends to draw the biggest crowd of the weekend – other than the headliners – which is this year filled by Kylie Minogue. But if you weren’t lucky (lucky, lucky) enough to bag tickets to Worthy Farm, you can still see her draw on a thirty-plus year arsenal of pop hits (‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’! ‘Better The Devil You Know’! ‘Confide In Me!’) when she brings her live spectacle to Open’er a week later on July 5 . Plus, the mud-free surroundings mean you won’t have to take your gold hot-pants to the dry-cleaners come Monday.
4: It’s a visually arresting setting
Held in a disused military air force base in Gdynia, where hangars are all beautifully lit, and silent discos are happening in bunkers, suffice to say Open’er is highly Instagrammable.
5: There’s more than just music happening
Of course, the line-up is god-tier, but if you have some downtime between bands, you can check out the onsite museum and cinema as well as areas dedicated to showcasing innovative arts and fashion. They even hosted a grunge-themed opera one year – which one wag at NME suggested should be named ‘Come As You Aria’. You can also book a dinner with a famous Polish chef on an onsite restaurant – which precisely nobody proffered should be called ‘Come (Dine With Me) As You Are’.
6: You can pack your beachwear
You might reasonably ask: ‘Why do you need your beach towel and parasol if you’re going to an airfield?’. Well, the music doesn’t start until the late afternoon, which gives you time to bask blissfully in the white Baltic beaches of Polish riviera hotspot Sopot (which makes up the Tri-city – that includes Gdynia and Gdansk) – which boasts the largest wooden pier in Europe. Or even saunter around Gdansk’s scenic Old Town, and Gdynia’s picturesque marina. It’s like a city break and festival all in one.
7: The atmosphere is lit
The 90,000 up-for-it revelers descending upon Open’er for four days have a reputation as being among the most friendly and welcoming festival-goers around.
8: You can check out some Polish alternative bands
When in Rome, etc. With a name taken from a Saint Etienne song, Polish post-punk/new wave/electro outfit and voice of the “nothing generation” Cool Kids Of Death are playing their 17-year-old debut album in full, while Popkiller Young Wolves All-Stars is an initiative that promotes rap talent in the country. You can also get thee to Tidal to check out the likes of Bitamina, Jan-Rapowanie, and Coals who’ll all be appearing.
9: Rap royalty headlines on the Wednesday
When Travis Scott – who made 2018’s greatest rap album with the star-studded ‘Astroworld’ (‘a complex, extraordinarily accomplished album that invites us mere mortals to peer in at his life behind the velvet rope’, raved NME in our glowing five-star review) toured the US, he brought a theme park set-up, replete with Ferris wheel of death and a roller coaster suspended over the audience. So who knows what surprises he has in store when he tops the Open’er bill on Wednesday.
10: Seriously – did we mention the line-up?
You can be living your early Noughties New York ‘Meet Me In The Bathroom’ fantasies by watching The Strokes and Interpol one minute, checking out grunge hatchet-buriers The Smashing Pumpkins or politically charged rockers Idles the next, dancing to queens of the sad-bangers Robyn and Lana Del Rey the next or seeing if Matty Healy brings his treadmill to The 1975’s appearance. And let’s face it – everything sounds better when you’re at a European festival and not battling conditions wetter than Trump’s Russian hotel bedsheets on a boggy English hillside.
Open’er runs from 3-6 July at Gdynia-Kosakowo Airport, Poland. Tickets are available here